SMAI Boxing Gloves Review

Boxing GloveDurabilityPaddingBreathabilityValue for Money
SMAI Elite85 Leather Boxing Gloves5/55/52/54/5
SMAI Essentials Boxing Gloves4/54/51/55/5

With over 18 years of martial arts experience, you can say I know a thing or two about combat sports gear! Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about SMAI boxing gloves. And I wanted to see if they’re worth the hype? The verdict – absolutely! Let’s dive in to figure out why.

SMAI Boxing Gloves Review

One of the standout features of SMAI Boxing Gloves is the quality of their construction. They use real leather which is by far the best material for boxing gloves, because it offers great durability, without compromising comfort.

In terms of padding, the cushion is thick enough to protect your hands even after a long workout. The gloves are designed with multi-layered foam padding, which gives them some very good shock absorption. And the inside material feels soft and does a good job of wicking away sweat.

Like most boxing gloves, they start out a bit stiff and need a few weeks to break in and start feeling soft and truly comfortable.

The only real issue is breathability. All of SMAI’s boxing gloves only have a couple of tiny holes for ventilation. This means that your hands will quickly get very sweaty and you can expect them to stay that way for most of your workout.

In terms of price, these are definitely some of the cheapest leather boxing gloves you can buy. So, I’d definitely recommend them to both beginners and more advanced fighters.

Lace-Up vs Velcro Boxing Gloves Featured Image

Are SMAI Boxing Gloves Good for Beginners?

Along with brands like Everlast and Snabul, SMAI is one of the best options for beginners. A really good example of this is their Leather Boxing Gloves. Even though they’re not the cheapest option out there, the fact that they’re made out of leather more than makes up for it.

Still, if you’re on a tight budget, then I’d recommend going for Everlast’s Pro Style Training Gloves, instead.

Related: The Best Boxing Gloves for Beginners

Are SMAI Boxing Gloves Good for Sparring?

SMAI boxing gloves are mainly intended for sparring, and they absolutely excel at it.

When it comes to sparring gloves, the most important factor is the padding. You want soft padding so that you don’t hurt your training partner. SMAI use multiple layers of foam padding, which makes them a great option for sparring.

SMAI’s gloves tend to start off a little stiff, but once you’ve broken them in with a few heavy bag sessions, they’ll be good enough to be used for sparring. Overall, they’re a very good mid-budget option.

Are SMAI Boxing Gloves Good for the Heavy Bag?

Even though they’re marketed as sparring gloves, I think SMAI do best when used on the heavy bag. Why? Because they’re made of real leather. This gives them some very high durability and ensures that they’ll serve you for many years to come.

The foam padding makes sure that your hands stay protected and the curved thumb will ensure your thumb stays in the right position, preventing fist fatigue.

Best Double End Bag Featured Image

SMAI Elite85 Leather Boxing Gloves Review

I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but it absolutely bears repeating – what I love most about these gloves is the fact that they’re made out of genuine leather. This makes them super durable, even after very intense workout sessions. It’s really hard to find leather boxing gloves at this price range.

The inside lining feels very soft and comfortable, and it does a decent job at wicking away sweat.

In terms of padding, they use EVA foam which offers very good shock absorption. This is very important when working on the heavy bag where you need all the protection you can get so that you avoid injuring your hands.

Another neat feature is the way the thumb is curved. That way your fist will feel more natural which is going to help reduce fist fatigue.

The only downside these gloves have is the lack of breathability. They only rely on 5 tiny holes in the palm area for ventilation. So, your hands are going to get very sweaty, very quickly.

A minor complaint is also that it’s a little hard to get the velcro strap off. This is because the strap has velcro along its entire length. So, when both of your hands are wearing the boxing gloves, it’s a little hard to grab that velcro strap.

Overall, these are some great boxing gloves. They’re durable, comfortable, and have great padding.

If you don’t have the budget for them, then I suggest getting SMAI’s Essentials Boxing Gloves. While not as cheap as something like Everlast, they still use real leather and are very affordable.

SMAI Elite85 Leather Boxing Gloves Plus 180" Black Boxing Wraps - Competition Boxing Mitts Made for Sparring, Kickboxing, Bag Work and Muay Thai Training - Winning Fight Gloves for Men & Women.


  • Made of real leather – highly durable
  • Great value for money
  • Very good, soft padding
  • The thumb area feels very comfortable
  • Feel very comfortable on the inside


  • Bad breathability
  • Need some time to break in

SMAI Essentials Boxing Gloves

The Essentials are basically the cheaper version of the Elite85. Like the Elites, they’re made of real leather, which is absolutely astounding at this price. They’re very durable and have nice, thick padding.

They still need some time to break in, but once they do, they’re going to protect your hands very well during training.

In terms of cons, the main one is the lack of breathability. Another problem is that the thumb isn’t as well curved as it is in the Elite85, so you may feel a slight discomfort if you have long training sessions. But once you get used to this position, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Given the very affordable price, it’s really hard to not recommend them. They’re great for the heavy bag, as well as for sparring. Yes, they’re slightly more expensive compared to something like Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves, but they’re absolutely worth the price.

Leather Boxing Glove


  • Made of real leather – highly durable
  • Very affordable
  • High-quality, soft padding


  • Low breathability
  • Thumb feels a bit uncomfortable at first
  • Need some time to break in

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